by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 91 of
Black Clover ?
Well, you know what they say about female lions being the hunters.
With the secondary Black Bulls escaping death to fight another day, we return our attention to the attack on the Eye of the Midnight Sun. There's a number of different battles occurring at once, though none of them are as significant as Mereoleona's fight with Raia, which steals most of this episode's runtime.
Raia's ability is copying other people's magic. If he's touched another person's grimiore, he can use that person's spells regardless of the original user's specialty attribute. He's been sneaking around throughout the series, taking on other people's appearances and spying on our heroes in secret, so he has access to a multitude of familiar attacks. It's noted that because of his innately powerful magic, he can use these spells stronger than their original users can, with the limitation being that he can only use one attribute at a time, so he can't make himself invisible and spit out fire simultaneously.
Not that his strength seems to matter much, because Mereoleona is ridiculously strong. She can keep up with Raia's tricks on brute strength and agility alone, marking her as one the strongest characters in the series (if not the strongest.) When she's not serving as a Magic Knight, she's living in the wilderness and fighting powerful animals for fun. It's pretty entertaining to see the show build up the Third Eye members so much with Vetto and Fana, giving us every reason to believe Raia's going to be a significant challenge, only to see the look of surprise on his face when it turns out he's way in over his head. The animation here alternates quite a bit between more conventional shots and brief moments of impressive choreography, but there's at least a few really memorable scenes, such Mereo's fire hands forcing a water dragon's jaws shut like it's no big deal. A Gyarados might have type advantage against a Charizard, but that doesn't mean much if the Charizard is level 100.
Outside of the Mereoleona fight, this episode drags quite a bit. Watching the rest of the Royal Knights scatter about and get into smaller fights is really dull. I don't understand why Noelle is still doing her arrogant royal schtick in front of her teammates, like the episode is desperately trying to come up with snappy banter and doesn't have much to work with. The random mishmash of characters that make up the Royal Knights don't have a ton of chemistry together, but the anime is relying on them to fill the dead air between the actually interesting fights. I can't quite bring myself to care about what Nozel's up to, either.
Watching Mereoleona cut loose and drop the smack down on Raia is definitely the big draw of this episode. We already knew she was tough, but this is the most she's been able to flex with her raw fighting prowess so far. It takes someone crazy like her to get the job done. I can't imagine this is the last we'll see of Raia, since the show had been hinting at something more emotional happening beneath the surface with him, though his thrashing is well-timed enough to compensate for the loss of a threatening villain. If the entire Third Eye is done for, then all that's left is for us to encounter Licht and hopefully understand the Midnight Sun's true machinations once and for all.
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